Launching week three of my review of DC’s New 52 with Batman & Robin seems like the right way to go. This book, like some others in the Reboot, is less Reboot and more Re-start. Damien is Robin. Bruce is Batman. Alfred is…awesome. Things are pretty much status quo around Wayne Manor.
The dynamic between Damien and Bruce is apparent from the first pages. Damien, ever the rebellious and overconfident son, is struggling against the heavy-handed nature of Bruce’s teaching. This time it’s even more apparent since Damien is his son.
As things get started Bruce is in the midst of overcoming his own demons whilst simultaneously attempting to bring Damien into the fold on family history. During the exchange Damien is a great line, “Sometimes I think your secrets have secrets.”
This is true on so many levels.
Just think about all that Batman is. All the things that he’s done, experienced, been exposed to, lives he has impacted (both positively and negatively) and amazing events he’s taken part in have made him the man he is. How can Damien fully grasp all that at this point? He can’t.
And he doesn’t seem at all interested in learning, just fighting.
Unlike some of the other New 52 titles, Batman & Robin truly addresses its past and turns to face its future. The action part of the issue is more of a side note, an afterthought, because a Batman story is somehow less fulfilling without a little action.
There are two overarching points of this book. The first I covered previously and the second is introducing a new villain. Now, as we get further into the New 52 I am going to start presenting more and more theories on what I think is going on and who certain characters are (the hooded woman).
So who is this new villain? Well, after sitting down and talking to my friend Matt Anderson about it, we both think pretty strongly that it could be Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley). There are a few things that the villain says and things he does that lead me to this belief. First, he attacks the Moscow-based Batman. Second, when he does this the Batman asks, “Who are you” and his response is “I’m nobody. And so are you.” that was a strong hint. But additionally, he knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. That might not be the biggest secret in the world, but it’s certainly not a known fact in most circles.
I am honestly intrigued by what is going on in Batman & Robin and I cannot wait to read the next issue. To that end it receives my highest grade thus far, ACE. Go check it out!
The best is yet to come so keep your eyes (and browsers) open on 8DaysAGeek all month long as we tackle the biggest story in comics!
This is your Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off.
p.s. Did you spot the hooded lady? I’ve included a picture below. She keeps showing up in the strangest places! Who is she? What’s her impact going to be on the new DCU? Discuss below in comments!!!